Life-Study of Genesis

Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0836-9
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 23 of 120 Section 1 of 8

LIFE-STUDY OF GENESIS

MESSAGE TWENTY-THREE

CAIN AND ABEL

In this message, a parenthesis in our study of Genesis 4, we need to see more about Cain and Abel. During this life-study of Genesis we have pointed out several times that nearly every item found in the first three chapters of Genesis is a seed that is developed in the following books of the Bible, especially in the New Testament. This is also true in the case of Cain and Abel. According to the revelation of the divine Word, these two brothers should be considered as two important seeds sown in Genesis 4. This is proved by the fact that the New Testament speaks of both Cain and Abel (Jude 11; 1 John 3:12; Matt. 23:35; Heb. 11:4; 12:24). The Lord Jesus was alluding to Cain in John 8:44 when He said that the Devil "was a murderer from the beginning." As we saw in the previous message, Cain became one with the Devil and, thus, both Cain and the Devil were the murderer of Abel. In John 8:44 the Lord Jesus also said that the Devil was a liar: "When he speaks a lie, he speaks out of his own self; for he is a liar and the father of it." I believe that this also was an allusion to Cain, referring to the lie that he told God when He asked him about his brother (Gen. 4:9). Cain lied to God in His presence. Thus, Cain was not only a murderer, but also a liar. Therefore, the Lord's word in John 8:44 is evidence that the story of Cain in Genesis 4 is a seed.

We have seen that in the beginning man was placed in front of two trees, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge (Gen. 2:8-9). These two trees represent two sources out of which two lines continue throughout the whole Bible: the line of the tree of life and the line of the tree of knowledge. Undoubtedly, Cain was on the line of the tree of knowledge, and Abel was on the line of the tree of life.

Adam and Eve certainly must have produced more children than the two mentioned here. However, the Bible here only mentions Cain and Abel. Why does the Bible only mention these two here? Because the intention of the Holy Word is to show us the two categories of people which existed from the beginning of the second human generation: Cain, who represents the line of the tree of knowledge, and Abel, who represents the line of the tree of life.

The Bible ends as it begins. It begins with two trees denoting two sources and it concludes with two cities—the great Babylon and the New Jerusalem—denoting two consummations. One of these cities is great and the other is holy. The great Babylon will be the ultimate consummation both of the line of the tree of knowledge and of the seed of Cain. The seed of Cain is sown in Genesis 4, developed throughout the Old and New Testament, and will be consummated in the great Babylon revealed in Revelation 17 and 18. Likewise, the New Jerusalem will not only be the ultimate consummation of the line of the tree of life, but also of the seed of Abel. Everyone who will be a part of the New Jerusalem will be an Abel. Every piece of precious stone in that city will be an Abel for eternity. On the contrary, the majority of those in the great Babylon will be Cains. Hence, the great Babylon is the ultimate consummation of so many Cains, and the New Jerusalem is the totality of all the Abels. What are you—an Abel or a Cain? I hope that no one reading this message is a Cain.

Let us now consider these two brothers more thoroughly, examining them in the light of the subsequent books of the Bible. We begin with Cain.


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